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Cwwdtan InatituM for Historical MieronproductkHW / InstHut Canadian da mknifapraduetlMia Mstoriquas 




1995 



Technical and Bibliographic Notes / Notes technique et bibliographiques 



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fY OF 



INCIPAL 

OF Ma 






"■^f^i 



THE UNITY OF LEARNING 



BY 



WiLLIAM PETERSON, M. A., LL. D., C. M. G. 



PRINCIPAL AND VICECHANCBLLOB 
OF MoGILIi UNIVERSITY 



AN ADDRESS DELIVERED AT THE 

JUBILEE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN 

MADISON, JUNE 9, 1904 



THE UNITY OF LEARNING 



The Canadian nniversity which accredited me aa a 
delegate to this jabilee and inauguration is twenty- 
five years older than the University of Wisconsin ; as 
for Oxford, which I have the honor also to represent, — 
Oxford does not really know her age. She is past the 
time of life when it is easy or convenient to recall the 
date of one's >-irth. Unlike yonr university, McOill 
in Montreal is a private foundation, owing little, if 
anything, to the state. Such institutions eT'st for the 
purpose, epeaking for the moment only of finance, of 
enabling wealthy givers to escape the epitaph which 
might otherwise record the barn, naked fact that "the 
rich man died also aid was buried." How different 
is yonr case 1 I have never heard the points of con- 
trast between the two types — the state university and 
the private foundation — put so cogently as by those 
who have already addressed you. We may well envy 
you thbt wealth of public appreciation which takes 
the form of a large annual subsidy, — paid, I have no 
doubt, with the regularity of clockwork, — and which 
operates at ihe same time as a guarantee that your 
t^ork shall alvays keep in touch with practical and 
public aims. The beaut'Jul drives which yonr visitors 
have been privileged to take in the neighborhood have 
impressed on them the fact that the state has enconr- 

[3] 



aged you to niiiwx ii public park and call it a campna. 
You do not i>ennit any othe- university iuBtitntion in 
this state to approacii th« legislature— yon have it -Ul 
to yourself. No two state universities, as was said 
yesterday, are supposed to ask for appropriations 
from the same commonwealth. How different are our 
relations with the private donor I He i^ distracted by 
rival claims and conflicting interests, and cannot lavish 
all his affections on the college of his choice. There 
are the churches for instance I 

Of Oxford it might be difficult to say whether it is 
on the whole a public or a private foundation. Such 
state recognition as it enjoys does not carry with it 
any great increase of thematerial resources of the uni- 
versity, and as to private donations it seems a longtime 
since the pious founders went to their rest. There is 
generally, in all private foundations, a long wait be- 
tween the gifts. The reason why Oxford receives no 
endowments now from private sources is possibly the 
mistaken idea that a university which has been grow- 
ing for so many centuries must surely be complete. 

Neither McGill nor Oxford definitely authorized me 
to inflict in its name on this large and representative 
audience any expression of academic views. But I 
am quite at home in such celebrations, both in this 
world and in that which some of us call the old 
country; and it is therefore a pleasure to respond to 
your new president's invitation that I should say 
something on the subject of our mutual interests. A 
great part of the activity of a modern college head 
is in fact taken up with attending such celebrations 
[1] 



H8 tliig. My apprcnticegliip hvtfun IxTunty yenrB 
ago— as far back hi the great Edinbnrgb tercentenary 
in 1H84. Though it hos falinn to my lot to attend 
similar festivals at various poiuti on this continent, 
I have never yet been quite so far west — or rather let 
me say, (|uite so near what I am told is to be considered 
the center of American gravity. I think it was that 
spirited writer, Dr. Conan Doyle, who spoke feelingly 
of finding all the comforts of civilization in the course 
of a lecturing tour which he made through the United 
States, — in the hotel, for example, where the barber 
shop provided him with attendance from a hairdresser 
on the very spot where in recent memory the original 
inhabitants of the continent might have left no hair on 
his head at nil. But, however appreciative such a 
strolling lee' i -er may show himself, he cannot expe- 
rience those I'eelings of gratitude and satisfaction 
which fill our hearts tc-day, when, as the invited guests 
of n great American nniv> -sity, we receive such over- 
whelming proof of Amet. ■ i friendliress and Ameri- 
can hospitality. 

After all the wealth of oratory to which we have lis- 
tened, it may not be out of place for me to call your 
attention to the fact that this is the first opportunity 
you have had of hearing from the outside world. Pre- 
vious speakers have spoken as fellow citizens; I am 
called upon to represent the foreigner ! It is a com- 
fort to think that what I shall endeavor to submit to 
you ought not, at leost, to sound very foreign in your 
ears. I should like to tell you, to begin with, that the 
duty of addressing you could not have fallen to the lot 

[«] 



of any who has a greater respect for, or a higher ap- 
preciation of, the people of these United States. I 
am a great admirer of your nation. On more than 
one occasion in the course of my residence on this con- 
tinent, I have had valued opportunities of speaking 
on the subject of Anglo-American interests, showing 
to the best of my poor ability how Britain and the 
United States are bound together by ties stronger 
than laws and constitutions can create, — by commu- 
nity of race, language, literature, religion, institutions, 
commercial and social intercourse, and the glorious 
traditions of a common history. No one can be much 
in touch with your people without being constantly 
struck by its energy and enterprise; its almost un- 
bounded confidence and consciousness of power; its 
resourcefulness, ingenuity, and above all the rapidity 
with which it can adapt itself to meet the calls of new 
conditions and ever-changing circumstances. As one 
of my Canadian colleagues* lately expressed it, "the 
bold spirit of enterprise which yon have shown and 
your capacity for organization, encouraged from the 
beginning by the requirements of a vast new territory, 
now amount to something which is as clearly national 
genius as the Roman's capacity for organizing con- 
quest in the ancient world and the Englishman's for 
organizing empire in the modern." As for education, 
that has become one of your greatest national indus- 
tries. There is no more powerful unifying agency at 
work in the world than education. It may interest you 
to know that at a great imperial university conference 
•Profeuor Cappon o( Queeo's UnlTeraity. 
[6] 



which I had the honor of attending in London last year, 
and which was presided over hj Mr. James Bryce, more 
than one speaker expressed the view that if we only 
had representatives from American universities with 
us, we should have been quite complete. In default 
of any such larger federation, it is at least open to cul- 
tivate the cordial relationships which are implied iu 
the exchange of visits on the occasion of interesting 
ceremonials such as the present. I do not know that 
either Englishmen or Americans are sufficiently con- 
scious of the amount of fusion that is going on around 
and about us, as shown especially in the results of the 
silent processes by which our common language is as- 
serting its supremacy not only on this continent, but 
in far off Asia, Australia, and Africa as well. It is a 
good augury for the future federation of the world 
that America — as a whole — speaks English and is con- 
tent to call it English stUl I 

When your president asked me to furnish him with 
some title for my address this forenoon, I felt inclined 
to suggest that I might be allowed to discourse on what 
I should have liked to call "standing impressions." 
For such a talk I should have been glad to draw in- 
spiration merely from the various speeches which I 
knew were to precede mine. But something more 
formal was required of me and I have been at some 
pains to comply with the demand. No one can take 
part in such a ceremonial as this without realizing the 
degree of identity, as well as difference, that will be 
found to exist on a comparison of British and Ameri- 
can university institutions. Identity there must ever 
[7] 



be amongst the nniversities of all conntries, centering 
as each does in the conunon constitution of chair, fac- 
ulty, and senate. (I leave the question of business 
administration out of account, as that is cared for in 
many different ways.) All American universities are 
democratic, some more, some less. Those who still 
imagine that a democracy prefers to be governed by 
ignorant persons ought to have had the opportunity 
which your visitors have enjoyed, of listening to the 
speakers whose eloquence, as is usually the case at 
such gatherings in the United States, has been so re- 
markable a feature of your festival. It is not the fact 
that a democracy would choose, if left to itself, to re- 
main ignorant. It wants rather the best guidance 
that it can get. That is why it is that, no matter 
what course the student may follow, his university 
training is not considered to have done much for him 
if it fails to make him more fit than he otherwise 
would have been, to lead his fellowmen, and to take a 
useful and a creditable part in the conduct of publio 
affairs. Preparation for citizenship and for the pub- 
lic service has rightly been made the basis of much of 
your work in the realm of higher education. There 
is a passage in one of President Eliot's recent reports 
which may well be cited in this connection: "Since 
wise and efficient conduct of American affairs, com- 
mercial, industrial, and public, depends more and more 
upon the learned and scientific professions, the univer- 
sities owe it to the country to provide the best possible 
preparation for all the professions. This best possi- 
ble preparation can only be given to young men who up 

[8] 



to their twenty-first year have had the advantages 
of continnons and progressive school and college 
training." 

The world is older now than it was in the days when 
universities first were founded, and the forces on 
which they depend in our time manifest themselves in 
forms which it may sometimes appear hard to identify 
with those that led to the institution of the earliest 
seats of learning in Europe. The inevitable law of 
change has asserted itself conspicuously in the sphere 
of higher education. But though conditions have be- 
come very different from what they used to be, it is 
really not difficult to ti'ace something at least of the 
same spirit continuously operative through the centur- 
ies. The earliest universities were the nurslings of 
the church, — the church which after fostering learning 
through the darkest of the dark ages had now become 
the great centralizing and unifying agency of medie- 
val Europe. Princes and people had combined their 
efforts with those of learned men to develop them out 
of the old cathedral and cloister schools where the 
only teachers were the monks. There is a sense in 
wL'ch these universities were the models even of the 
technical schools which in our day have fonnd shelter, 
and let us hope inspiration also, under the broad SBgis 
of our academic institutions. For were they not pro- 
fessional schools, and were not the subjects which 
they taught mainly such as were intended to prepare 
priests and monks for their work in lifef If we claim 
to be their lineal successors we must keep well to the 
front that conception of the unity of learning and the 
[9] 



interdependence of stndieB which in their different 
circumstances they found it comparatively easy to 
foster. The various branches of learning stand in 
vital relation one to another. To use an illustration 
employed by the historian Gibbon, they resemble "a 
vast forest, every tree of which appears at first sight 
to be isolated and separate, but on digging beneath 
the surface their roots are found to be all interlaced 
with each other." One subject has a way of throwing 
light upon another, and even when the relation be- 
tween the various studies is least obvious, it will gener- 
ally be found that some deep-lying principle exists 
which, when discovered and applied, will bring into the 
closest union with each other branches that may ap- 
pear to be totally unconnected. It is by apprehending 
the similarity of methods that runs through all the 
sciences that the student will be enabled, amid the 
multiplici*;- of subjects which strain for recognition, 
to hold fast the ideal of the unity of learning, to keep 
the parts in due subordination to the conception of 
the whole, and to bring himself into sympathetic con- 
tact with the comprehensive circle of human knowl- 
edge. After all it is the spirit which makes us one, 
no matter what differences may exist as regards ex- 
ternal forms. Our universities need not all be fash- 
ioned in the same mould. Here in Wisconsin, with 
your state patronage and your mutual understanding 
as to the advantages which both parties to existing 
contracts may hope to reap, it may surprise you to 
realize that questions are still raised elsewhere as to 
the propriety of including in the university cnrricu- 
110] 



lam the indastrial applications of science. To me it 
seems to be the natnral consequence of the rapid 
growth of science in recent times. I have already re- 
minded you that the earliest nniversities were emi- 
nently practical. Bologna was founded for law, Sal- 
erno for medicine. The distinction between what we 
call pure and applied science is a natural and neces- 
sary distinction, and though the former now comes 
first in the order of teaching, it was not so in the order 
of historical development. It was the practical needs of 
life that gave rise in the first instance to the science of 
astronomy, for example, and geometry; and as for 
chemistry, in the hands of alchemists its essential mo- 
tive was the persistent endeavor to transfuse the baser 
metals into gold. On the one hand the practical appli- 
cations of science lie at the foundations of all science; 
on the other, it may be truly said that all the marvels 
of modem scientific activity rest on the basis of the 
abstract and theoretical learning which is fostered by 
the university, and which, as has been rightly insisted 
on by previous speakers, it is the duty of the state, 
as well as its privilege, to develop and encourage in 
an institution such as this. What we have to do is to 
seek to minimize the danger and disadvantage of the 
separation of the two spheres by giving protical men 
a sound training in theory, and also by kee » theory 
in touch with practice. 

There are, in fact, obvious advantages in the asso- 
ciation of technology with a university curriculum. 
The university alone can adequately cover the higher 
parts of technical instruction, safe-guarding the "dis- 
[11] 



interestedness" of science and keeping in due subordi- 
nation to the search for truth the material advantages 
and "bread-earning" potencies that may be involved 
in any particular branch of study. And by so doing, — 
by throwing its sgis over technology, — the university 
learns the lesson that the day is long past and gone 
when it might be content with being a mere academic 
ornament, instead of striving to make itself a center 
of practical usefulness in the community. The word 
has gone forth over all the world that learning and 
science are and must ever remain incomplete and un- 
satisfying unless they can be adapted to the service 
and the use of man. 

The danger now rather seems to be that the needs 
of practical and professional training, and the pres- 
sure of commercial interests, may tend to depress the 
standard of liberal education and the old traditions 
of culture. We hear much nowadays of proposals to 
get the universities to shorten or cut down the aca- 
demic and literary side of their training. But if we 
follow our best counsellors we shall not want to do so 
many things in so great a hurry. Bather we shall 
stand by the sure foundation which a university train- 
ing oug!;t to guarantee. This has been well described 
by one of your own authorities, Professor Andrew 
West of Princeton, in his reference to the college de- 
partment of a university as that which furnishes "the 
one repository and shelter of liberal education as dis- 
tinct from technical or commercial training; the only 
available foundation for the erection of universities 
containing faculties devoted to the maintenance of 
[12] 



pure learning, and the only institation which can fnr- 
nish the preparation which ia always desired, even 
though it is not yet generally exacted, by the better 
professional schools." 

We all know when it becomes our duty gently to 
combat, for example, the wishes of the parent who 
says, "My boy wants to be a chemist or an engineer; 
put him through his studies in the shortest possible 
time." A year or two's delay will make all the better 
man of him. Not that we do not believe in specializa- 
tion, but we also believe that the student makes a mis- 
take when in his haste to advance himself in some 
special field, he turns his back on the advantages of a 
broad, general education. Let him have an oppor- 
tunity of developing an interest also in other subjects, 
outside his own particular sphere; so shall we secure 
that he shall rise superior to the temptation of acquir- 
ing the mere knacks of a trade, and that those who r y 
become the future leaders of great industrial unaoi- 
takings, shall have a mastery of principles as well as 
that faculty of well-balanced judgment and careful 
discrimination which, as distinct from the mere ac- 
quisition of knowledge, is the mark of a sound and 
comprehensive education. 

It is by giving emphasis to this argument that we 
may avoid any reasonable censure from those who 
wish to warn us that it is no part of the work and office 
of a university to teach the students how money may 
be made. Apart from all thought of "getting on in 
the world," the benefits of a college training should be 
made to stand out as solid advantages for the better- 
[13] 



ment and enrichment of the individnsl life. It ia a 
trite remark that bnsiness or professional avocations 
do not make up the whole of existence for any one of 
us. The leisure of life has to be provided for, and as 
was lately remarked by one of my colleagues in Mont- 
real, "Everyone should receive an equipment such as 
shall enable him even to get through his Sundays with 
credit." 

I have referred already to the great expansion in 
modem days of the field of university studies. Law, 
medicine, theology, are no longer the only technical 
applications of our academic work. The modem type 
of college professor can make his views heard, not 
only about railroads, bridges, and electrical supplies, 
but also about public finance and currency and bank- 
ing — even about an international dispute over a bound- 
ary line ! And it is good for a university thus to be 
brought into close touch with the actual needs of life. 
No one believes nowadays that a sound training in 
classics and mathematics is enough for a student, 
whatever may be the line of life he may intend to enter 
on. But in adapting ourselves to the new, we need by 
no means part wholly with the old. Do not let us for- 
get that while it is not beneath the dignity of a univer- 
sity to take an interest in practical matters, such as 
the problems of banking and finance, sanitary reform, 
water supply, taxation, charity organization, and mu- 
nicipal questions generally, there is such a thing as the 
uplifting of professional interests and pursuits by 
association with an institution which is above and be- 
yond them all. The path of progress in the profes- 
[14] 



sional facnlties it now marked out on the lines of an 
ever-increaiing identification with the aims and idealB 
of the university. Instead of separation and independ- 
ence, what we work for now is the co-ordination of 
subjects and departments, the inter-relation and inter- 
dependence of the faculties, the unification of the sep- 
arate and segregated parts in one systematic and 
consistent whole, in which each branch, while distinct 
in its own well defined sphere, shall yet contribute to 
the common strength of all. Upon such a scheme min- 
ing may quite well go hand in hand with metaphysics, 
Hebrew with hydraulics. Take mining, a branch of 
which the importance can hardly be over-estimated, 
and which we have fully installed at one of the univer- 
sities which I represent to-day, — I need hardly say I 
am not referring to Oxford I It may serve to illus- 
trate the wide interests that may be cultivated in a 
university of the kind I am describing, if I recall the 
fact that I know also another type of miner, different 
from the one who is trained in schools of mining engin- 
eering. Some of my friends are digging at this 
■uoment — not on virgin soil like the Klondike, but in 
countries like Egypt, and Crete, and Asia Minor, 
whose hills and plains are gray with hoar antiquity. 
What is the object of their search? Not the shining 
nugget or the ore which will yield its hidden treasure 
only to the pressure of machinery, but the mould- 
covered and musty papyrus — some buried and long- 
forgotten manuscript that may seem to bridge again 
the gulf which separates the old world from the new. 
Perhaps there may be some here who would not give 
[1.5] 



much for racb treaaare-trove, but none the leu ii it 
true that the explorers in Egypt and eliewhere are 
adding, like the mining engineer, to the sum of the 
world '8 wealth; to it* opportunities of knowing itself, 
its past history, and the story of its previous intellec- 
tual efforts. 

And BO room may be found under practically the 
same roof for science on the one hand, and, also, for 
literary studies, those branches which make it their 
business to investigate the origins of things — of lan- 
guages, of religions, of national customs, ideas, and in- 
stitutions. All nations haveneedof the "scholar class," 
the men who stand for ideas and ideals, who are eager 
to join in the search for truth and to proclaim it fear- 
lessly. The one thing needful is that all investigations, 
literary and scientific alike, be carried on in the spirit 
of the maxim laid dovn by the late M. Gaston Paris : 
"I profess absolutely and without reserve this doc- 
trine, that the sole object of science is truth, and truth 
for its own sake, without regard to consequences, good 
or evil, happy or unhappy. He who through patriotic, 
religious, or even moral motives, allows himself in re- 
gard to the facts which he investigates, or the conclu- 
sions which he draws from them, the smallest dissimu- 
lation, the slightest variation of standard, is not 
worthy to have a place in the great laboratory where 
honesty is a more indispensable title to admission than 
ability. Thus understood, common studies, pursued 
in the same spirit in all civilized countries, form — 
above restricted and too often hostile nationalities — 
a grande patrie which is stained by no war, menaced 
[16] 






by no conqueror, and where our eonU find the reet and 
communion which was given them in other days by the 
City of God." 

And now, as specially representing Oxford, I should 
like to say a word or two of the feeling of unity which 
may well bind univareities in other parts of the Eng- 
lish-speaking worl'" to that which may be called the 
"old gray mothei of them all." There is a popular 
notion on this continent that Oxford is an anarciiron- 
ism, used up and out of date, and that it exists only for 
the purpose of providing the sister university of Cam- 
bridge with a partner for the boat race and the univer- 
sity cricket match. Much of this is due to the gentle 
irony of Matthew Arnold, who spoke lightly (knowing 
that he would not be misunderstoo'l by his friends) of 
Oxford as being "steeped in prejudico and port;" and 
who apostrophized the university as "the home of lost 
causes, impossible loyalties, and forsaken beliefs." 
The current view is, however, surely a heavy penalty 
for Oxford to pay for not giving special prominence 
to those branches of technical or professional study 
which are so greatly praised in America, on the ground 
not only of their intrinsic excellence, but also for the 
practical reason that they afford a speedy means of 
obtaining a livelihood, and that they contribute also 
to develop the material resources of the country. It 
is no reproach to Oxford to admit that her chief glory 
centers round those literary and humanistic studies, 
of which it may be said in brief that their main value 
lies in the fact that they are followed not only for their 
[17] 



own take, not only as endii in themselvei, but also be- 
cause tbey enter, and mast ever continae to enter into 
all the other branches of a university ourricnlam. 
Oxford does not neglect science, although oiroom- 
stances prevent Oxford from cultivating all branches 
of science. Wha she recognizes is the fact that let- 
ters are as necessary to civilization as science, and that 
science will only thrive and exist in an intellectual 
atmosphere where literature also flourishes. For these 
two grow from one root. 

I listened with interest to what President Van Hise 
said in np])reciBtton of the advantages of the residen- 
tial system at our great English universities. There 
are many who acknowledge their indebtedness to that 
system for a degree of what I may call social expe- 
rieniie to which thev might not otherwise have attained, 
fiut, besides being a great school of manners, Oxford 
has realized the ideal which your own Mr. Lowell set 
before American colleges in his memorable oration 
at the Harvard celebration, when he said that he 
"would rather the college should turn out one of Aris- 
totle's four square men, capable of holding his own in 
whatever f eld he may be cast, than a score of lop-sided 
ones, developed abnormally in one direction;" and 
when he defined the general purposes of college edu- 
cation as being "to set free, to supple, and to train the 
fnculties in such wise as shall make them most elec- 
tive for whatever task in life may aftarwards be set 
them — for the duties of life -ather than for its busi- 
ness; and to open windows ori every side of the mind 
where thickness of wall does not prevent it." 
[18] 



October of this year wi'l see the flrit additioM from 
American collegei to the ranks of Oxford atudent* 
under the termi of the Rhodes Bequest. It may be 
in order to offer a word or two on that much-discussed 
topic. Let me first recall the words of Mr. Rhodes' 
will. He stated in express terms that his desire was 
"to encourage and foster an appreciation of the ad- 
vantages which will result from the union of the Eng- 
lish-speaking peoples throughout the world, and to 
encourage in the students of the United States of 
America, who will benefit from the Americon scholar- 
ships, an attachment to the country from which they 
have sprung without withdrawing them or their sym- 
pathies from the land of their adoption or l<irth." It 
is probably the fear of something of this sort that has 
given rise to certain criticismr of the Rhodes' Bequest. 
The most acrimonious that 1 iiave seen comes from a 
journal that calls itself the "Cosmopolitan,"* the 
editor of which finds fault w^th Dr. Parkin for claim- 
ing (as reported in a newspapc'- interview) that "Ox- 
ford during three fnnturies has turned out literary 
statesmen for England as regularly as clockwork, and 
gives to students the kind of world-wide knowledge 
that will enable them to stand among the great ones 
of the earth." The literary roll of honor among the 
statesmen of this country is undoubtedly growing in 
distinction : it contains names like those of your great 
President of the United States, the strenuous Thf - 

•The remarkB which form the BUbJect of what folIowB may be 
tound In a note appended by the editor to a paper In which the 
writer Beema to gloat over what he concelTca to be the approach- 
ing dtaaolutlon of the British monarchy. COBmopoIltan: May, 1IK)4. 



dore Roosevelt, John Hay, and others. All that Dr. 
Parkin meant to assert was that Englanu has never 
lacked statesmen who were also eminent in literature. 
But what says the editor of the "Cosmopolitan"! 
"Seen through American eyes Oxford has not turned 
out two great statesmen of high integrity, broad con- 
ceptions, and personal courage to each of these three 
centuries." 

Then he proceeds to offer a prize of one hundred 
dollars to any one who will name such statesmen. I 
should like to enter this competition and found with 
the proceeds a prize in the history department of the 
University of Wisconsin! Mr. Walker's remarks are 
practically an indictment, not of Oxford, but of Eng- 
lish statesmanship for the last three hundred years. 
For it is true that a very great proportion of Eng- 
land's public men, during that period, were educated 
in Oxford: the rest had mostly the advantage of a 
Cambridge training. In our own day there have been 
from Oxford, Gladstone, Morley, Goschen, James 
Bryce, Asquith, and many more. A century ago there 
were Chatham, Pox, Carteret (the first Lord Granville) ; 
two centuries ago, John Hampden, Lord Clarendon, 
Sir Harry Vane, Sir John Eliot. That some of these 
not merely passed through Oxford, but retained her 
teaching in the deepest substance of their minds, may 
be inferred from the famous anecdote of Carteret told 
by Robert Wood, the author of the Essay on the genius 
of Homer. Wood called on Carteret a few days be- 
fore his death, with the preliminary articles of the 
Treaty of Paris. He found the statesman so languid 
[20] 



that he proposed postponing the business. But Car- 
teret insisted that he should stay; "it could not pro- 
long his life," he said, "to neglect his duty." Then 
he repeated to his visitor, in the original Greek, the 
immortal lines which Sarpedon in Homer's Twelfth 
Iliad addresses to Glancus, the son of Hippolochus: 
"Friend of my soul, if we might escape from this war, 
and then live for ever without old age or death, I 
should not fight myself amid the foremost ranks, nor 
would I send thee into the glorifying battle; but a 
thousand fates of death stand over us, which mortal 
man may not flee from nor avoid: then let us on, 
whether we shall give glory to others, or obtain it for 
ourselves." It was the spirit of Oxford and an Ox- 
ford training that spoke in these words of a dying 
statesman. Carteret may have had his faults,— such 
faults as were common in that age. But this story 
from his deathbed will ever hallow his memory in the 
minds of those who know what an Oxford training 
means. 

It was certainly Cecil Rhodes' intention, in addition 
to improving the relations of the English-speaking 
peoples, to help to enlarge in America — what has been 
the glory of England— the class of really cultivated 
statesman, capable of a broad and generous view, free 
from all parochialism and crudity. Of course Oxford 
cannot create men of genius: nature must do that. 
Neither can she create heroes and saints, men with a 
burning passion for humanity. But she can leaven 
all the human materials sent her with a certain civiliz- 
ing influence, a certain softening power of beauty and 
[21] 



of thought. Her very walls will do it. Most of you 
know this very well. I appeal to my friend, President 
Harper. What greater compliment could Chicago 
have paid to our English universities than to imitate 
their buildings in structures which recall— in what I 
was glad to find last week are really no uncongenial 
surroundings— the stately associations of the college 
gardens I 

We must not expect statesmen— men of action— to 
be representatives of ideal perfection: none of them 
ever has been. Caesar, Cromwell, Bismarck, had many 
obvious faults. It is high praise for them if they see 
the thing which has to be done, and can be done in 
their age, and get that thing done. If they were votar- 
ies of abstract perfection, and would not move till 
that could be secured, they would do nothing at all. 
Why then should Oxford be discouraged by the fact 
that the editor of the Cosmopolitan holds that Cecil 
Rhodes "did not propose to send American youths to 
Oxford to be educated, but American youths to educate 
Oxford in the ways of a great Republic"? Or again, 
"Oxford annually puts forth a group of parliamentary 
mediocrities, of literary jingoes, of political make- 
shifts, of legislative dilletanti, of conservatives, of 
opportunists, of men who sweep with the tide, and 
never put forth a fearless effort on behalf of improved 
government." And once more, "Has Oxford," cries 
J. B. Walker,"sent out within fifty years a single fig- 
ure who can be spoken of as having a splendid courage, 
a high integrity, a clear intelligence, a comprehensive 
grasp of improved governmental methods, and at 
[22] 



heart, solely the interests of his fellow-men 1 No. 
Class favoritism, aocial kotowing, cowardice in oppos- 
ing popular measures" (whatever may be the meaning 
of that) "disciples of the has-been and commonplace, 
these are her graduates." 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am a graduate of Oxford, 
which I am proud to look back upon as my Alma Mater, 
and I must confess that I do not recognize my mother 
in this travesty and caricature. Mr. Walker states it 
as a fact that while Oxford-trained statesmen "follow 
in a geuLiemanly way along the channels of personal 
advantage, of social success, of universal respecta- 
bility, London has 22,000 homeless ones in her 
streets." He does not mention the number for New 
York. And he fails to recall— probably because he 
did not know it— that it was Oxford that first, in the 
foundation of Toynbee Hall, made the attempt to carry 
the influence of university men out among the masses 
of a great metropolis. If I mention the name of one 
more Oxford man of the last generation. Lord Shaftes- 
bury, that will be enough to connlete the refutation of 
the charge that English statesmen neglect the interests 
of their fellowmen. 

I am sure there must be very few in this audience 
who have any sympathy with the statements I have 
quoted. But I cite them with a purpose. I have de- 
rived, on the other hand, some relief from the informa- 
tion that this sort of nonsense comes from the same 
omniscient editor who once stated in the pages of his 
magazine that in his judgment the late Queen Victoria 
was a much overrated woman, who wasted great op- 
[23] 



portunities for usefulness upon trivial matters of rou- 
tine and ceremonial, — and who, in his desire to belittle 
everything that connect; with the old country, also 
came out in an article making the British government 
responsible for the loss of life in India, by taking 
such steps ns would develop rather than suppress the 
plague and famine and pestilence that from time to 
time unhappily devastate the teeming millions of that 
great continent. Criticism of all new schemes, such as 
the Rhodes Bequest, is right and proper; it is even 
open to any one to have misgivings as to the practical 
benefit that is to accrue from the operation of Mr. 
Rhodes' will. But the man who makes it the oppor- 
tunity for trying to stir up ill feeling between the Eng- 
lish-speaking peoples should meet with the reprobation 
of all right-minded persons. In my opinion Mr. Rhodes' 
main purpose will be amply fulfilled if the American 
students at Oxford not only bring back from that uni- 
versity a better knowledge of the real friendliness 
which is felt towards Americans in the old country, but 
also if the monetary inducement which he offers should 
attract more of them tlian might otherwise be the case 
to delay that rush into professional work which has 
been so natural in the early days of a new country, and 
to spend some of the best years of their lives in get- 
ting out of Oxford what Oxford is so well qualified to 
give — the inestimable advantages of an all-round 
education. 

I had intended to refer also, did time permit, to an- 
other topic of present day interest, — the report of the 
Mosely Commission, some members of which recently 
[24] 



visited this university, along with others in the United 
States. In reading the volume which has been issued 
in the name of this commission, I am deeply impressed 
by the sincerity of the compliments and congratulations 
which the commissioners offer to the educators of the 
United States. On all hands recognition is given to that 
wonderful enthusiasm for education which inspires 
everything you are trying to accomplish in this depart- 
ment, — to your "absolute belief in the value of 
education, both to the community at large, and to agri- 
culture, commerce, manufactures, and the service of 
the state." The "femininisation" to which Dr. Gil- 
man referred, as something which had appeared to 
excite apprehension on the part of the Mosely com- 
missioners, is by them connected, — as I read their re- 
ports — not with the troublous question of coeducation 
(though I do not know that any one of them would be 
ready to go to the stake for coeducation as a principle), 
but with the great and increasing preponderance of 
women teachers in your public schools. But however 
this may be, the Mosely commissioners are well aware 
that in the United States you have been foremost in 
realizing that one of the greatest discoveries of the 
nineteenth century has been the discovery of the value 
of education. You know that it is the best educated 
nation that wins in the race with others. Take the 
following: "There is in America a more widely- 
spread desire for the education of the people than in 
England, and it is generally recognized that education 
is to be g 7en to every citizen as a matter of right. 
Each child is brought up on the understanding that it 
[25] 



i8 the duty of the state in which he lives to give him 
the best education he is fit to receive, and the com- 
munity understands that the public funds are to be 
drawn upon to provide for such education." (p. 351.) 
"The whole people nppear to regard the children as 
the nation's best asset, whilst the children themselves 
seem to be animated with the desire tc cultivate their 
powers to the fullest extent, because they realize that 
they can only hope to occupy such positions in life as 
their education has fitted them to fill with credit." 
(p. 376.) 

More than one of the Mosely commissioners quote 
with approval President Roosevelt's utterance, when 
he said that while education would not make or save a 
nation, the nation which neglected education would be 
assuredly undone in the long run. With yon educa- 
tion has come to be a "prime necessity of national life, 
for which hardly any expenditure can be too great," 
and the opportunities for which are being widely dif- 
fused, and made generally accessible, in all its 
branches, to every section of your great democracy. 
That is a result on which I ask to be allowed to join 
my congratulations to those of my fellow countrymen 
who, in the pages of the Mosely Commission Report, 
have enshrined so appreciative and bo illuminating 
an account of your educational system. 

Let me close by offering a word of congratulation 
on the success which has attended your present cele- 
bration. I am sure I am speaking for all your guests 
when I say it has been the occasion of great enjoyment 
and much edification to the whole body of your visitors. 
[26] 



Especially to those of ns who represent other conn 
tries, yon have given one more illustration of that 
spirit of whole-hearted enthusiasm which pervades all 
your work as a nation. It was greatly to the credit of 
those who settled the western states that, in the days 
when their thonghts must have been occupied with 
what many would consider more pressing problems, — 
in a time of hurry and bustle such as marks the birth 
of a new community, — they gave their best energies 
to the organization in your midst of an institution of 
the higher learning. Fifty years may seem a brief 
space if compared, for example, with the antiquity 
which Oxford boasts, but the true standard of compari- 
son is the space of time that has elapsed since this 
territory was organized into a state of the Union. 
That was, I believe, only a few years before the Uni- 
versity of Wisconsin was launched as a state institu- 
tion upon its remarkable career. However gratifying 
may be the retrospect as it was sketched for us in the 
interesting address of President Van Hise, the repre- 
sentatives of sister universities feel every confidence 
that your outlook for the next half century is still 
more hopeful and promising. Those who may assem- 
ble here to celebrate your first centennial will look back 
upon a period crowded with achievements even more 
glorious than those we celebrate to-day. Meanwhile 
the festival in which we have been privileged to take 
part will stimulate the staff of this university to even 
greater and more strenuous service. It is on them, 
along with the new president, that the burden mainly 
falls. I am certain that they will realize the fact that 
[27] 



after all a university is what ite teachers make it; 
that it is for them to keep it a living and active force 
in the commnnity, which shall not be content only with 
teaching science and learning, as it were, ready-made, 
but shall always endeavor to contribnte to the making 
of them. May this university remain through all 
time a center of American national life, seeking to in- 
fluence at every point not only education, but, also, 
social progress and the public service 1 



[28]